Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Free iPhone 4 Cases - Summary (FIXED)

Here are the available iPhone 4 cases you have all been hearing about.  I have attached the photos captured from the application and the retail price if you were to buy them on your own.

The Apple iPhone 4 Bumper $29.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
The most minimal of them all.  This one is just a rubber ring that wraps around the edge of your iPhone 4.  It is NOT a “case” by standard definition.  It does NOT cover the back of your iPhone which has already been proven prone to scratch even though it has the class on the back now as well.  Keep in mind the white is NOT part of the case.  That is the white version of the iPhone 4 which is currently unavailable.  It is important to note that the nice things about this minimal case are that it keeps the antenna protected from interference.  The buttons are built into the case too which is really nice.

Incase Snap Case for iPhone 4 clear $24.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one has yet to be created or featured on the manufacturers website.  I fear this one may take longer to ship than the others.  I personally like this one and may choose it because it keeps the iPhone looking very much like what the artists designed it to look like.  It also has easy access to the earphone plug and dock connector.  Anyone who moves their iDevice around to any number of different docks and devices will find this very convenient.  If you have a cover or mirror shield on your phone this may also be nice since the rubber type cases tend to rub with the edges of the plastic covers wearing them down and eventually ripping them off.

Incase Snap Case for iPhone 4 clear $24.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This case on the surface looks very similar to the one above but there are a few things that concern me.  First of all the cut for the camera and flash come VERY close to the lens and flash.  This can be a problem since the flash light will reflect, possibly ruining your picture.  This is only a render and not a photo of the actual product however and this may change.  Something to watch out for.  Also the rubber type cases tend to wear down and “loosen” after continuous removal for docking and cleaning.  It may be hard plastic but you can’t tell from the images.

Belkin Shield Micra for iPhone 4 clear $24.99  – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one is VERY similar to the Incase Snap Case but it doesn’t appear to the have the separation access at the top and bottom.  Also the plastic looks a little thicker which could be good or bad depending on your taste.  It also looks like it has a sharper edge than the rounded Incase.  I added a cropped selection of the two for comparison.  Both are reliable brands.

Griffin Motif iphone 4 diamonds/smoke $19.99 – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one is a very interesting blend of two different styles of phones.  It looks like it MAY have a hard plastic feel but it could also be flexible rubber but what is different about this one is that it has a typical opaque design with the diamond texture but it is still a little clear.  Very nice at first glance but the plastic comes very close to the flash so beware.  I’m betting on a flexible rubber feel though by the looks of the arching on the top and bottom.

Griffin Reveal Etch iPhone 4 – Black/Black Graphite $24.99  – Expected shipment 3 - 5 weeks.
This one could potentially be one of the most eye catching of the bunch.  It looks like some kind of fabric though it it is actually “etched” polycarbonate.  (AKA plastic)  I intentionally increased the contrast on the second side image so you can get a good look at the overlaid buttons which could be unresponsive and not nearly as nice as the integrated ones in Apple’s bumper.

Speck Fitted Case – Black Tartan $29.95 – Expected Ship 3 – 5 weeks.
This one I have confirmed is a fabric-backed panel which I find very interesting and could imagine would feel super comfortable in your hand.  One thing I do not like however is the fact that this model adds a very noticeable curve to the edge which makes your new iPhone 4 look like last year’s 3Gs.  Petty I know but part of what sells the product is the design and its distinguished new form factor.  (One which will invariably be copied many times over in the coming year.)

Speck PixelSkin HD iPhone 4 – Black $29.95 – Expected shipment 4 - 6 weeks.
This particular shell has a very rugged look.  I’m worried by the button overlays.  They don’t look like they would be easy to press and the speaker and microphone holes look like they would be more of an obstruction than anything.  Forget about docking this with the plastic so close to the dock connector.  Even the earphone connector looks like it will be a tight fit with the larger plugs.

Anyway for those of you interested in picking up your free iPhone case all you have to do is download and install an application called iPhone 4 Case Program.  I would post a link directly to the app store but you have to do it from your phone in order to request your case.  You only get one, naturally.  I hope this was helpful.

My opinion?  I’m usually pretty careful with my equipment but I DO put my phone in my pocket.  Those rubber or soft plastic cases seem to collect and possibly even generate lint as they slip into my pocket so I am avoiding those.  That said I’m leaning towards the hard plastic cases.  I like the clear ones because I want to see what I’m holding.  I like the new design and want to enjoy it.  Hiding it in an ugly shell just ruins the elegant lines that Apple Inc. so painstakingly takes time to design.  Since I dock my phone at work, on my bedstand, on my speakers and at my computer…the Incase seems the best bet for me IF it can dock with the shell on.  For my older 3G I had the type that half of the bottom would slip off.  None like that are featured here though they are available.  Some of those designs are even available from these very same manufacturers.  They just aren’t offered like these free solutions.

This blog took me a LOT more time than it should have.  I hope it is useful to someone. J